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Town holds first national tournament

Pahrump’s inaugural national horseshoe tournament was held Saturday July 13, at Petrack Park.

Sanctioned National Horseshoe Pitching Association players from all over Nevada attended.

Tournament Director Mike Norton kept results of the games and awarded plaques and patches to the winners of three different classes determined by their ringer percentage. Ringer percentages are the batting averages of horseshoe throwing.

The “A”-class winner was Chuck Gustafson, “B”-class winner was Dok Hembree and “C”-class winner was Don Brown. Dok and Don are from Pahrump.

Norton said a special thanks was needed for Matt Luis and the building and grounds workers who maintain the local horseshoe pits. Norton said this was the first sanctioned tournament held here and the pits looked great.

He said people love the pits in Pahrump during the hot months.

“One of the things other players like about our pits is having shade. We are the only pits in the state of Nevada that have shade,” he said.

The two-week World Horseshoe Tournament begins July 22 in St. George, Utah. Mike Nicosia, Don Brown, Dok Embree and Mike Norton from Pahrump are entered to pitch.

They all pitch in different divisions, playing 15 games, 5 games each day for three days, the most wins takes first place.

The World Tournament, which began in 1909, is held once a year all around the United States.

“We will be going to St. George, which is where the worlds are going to be,” Norton said. “There will be 1,300 players pitching there. It is a very big deal to go to the worlds. It will be my first time going there because it travels around each year and this is the closest it has come to Nevada in 50 years. Most of the time, it is near the East Coast.”

Alan Fransis is the defending champion with almost a 90 percent ringer average. Fransis is a 17-time champion, his first win was in 1989.

To keep up with the world tournament online go to http://www.horseshoepitching.com and go to tournament coverage.

Norton said there are eight sanctioned players in town and he would like to see that grow. He said he has been playing for 40 years, since he first threw a shoe in Santa Barbara, Calif. He says it has been nothing short of pure enjoyment, and he would like more to come down to the park and enjoy the sport with him.

Pahrump will hold another NHPA event this year on Aug. 17 at Petrack Park. The sign-in time is 8 am. To play in the tournament, players will need to join the NHPA. Membership is $26 and you need to be sanctioned by a sanctioned player which means you pitch 50 shoes to determine your ringer percentage.

If you would like to pitch, or learn to pitch, come to Petrack Park horseshoe pits next to the swimming pool on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. or most Saturdays at 11 am.

For more information you may contact Mike Norton 775-537-0542.

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